Developments in e-commerce have influenced app trends for years and vice versa. In the ever-changing digital landscape, e-commerce app developers are constantly seeking to anticipate the needs of online shoppers to stay relevant. We are seeing the gap between physical and digital shopping experiences close at an accelerated rate, a phenomenon that can be chalked up to advances in technology. As these developments continue to change how we shop online, retailers have to keep in step with new technologies through their mobile apps.
Many retailers grapple with making shopping from your phone easy as Amazon’s webpage. These four companies have it down to a science.
NYX Cosmetics — User-Generated Content
NYX, the cult cosmetics brand, launched their own app this past September. The company has long been known for its unique approach to branding and marketing, rejecting traditional advertising practices in favor of user-generated content.
User-generated content is a marketing tool that is on the rise in the e-commerce sphere. To accommodate this growing trend, companies like Stackla, Olapic and Livefyre have engineered platforms that help brands sift through and collect UGC from social channels.
NYX already incorporates user-generated content into its website by showcasing crowdsourced selfies of users wearing NYX products. They use algorithms created by Olapic to decide which selfies under the “#NYXcosmetics” hashtag get plucked from Instagram and Twitter and featured on the site. The app continues this engaging practice. The NYX app is first beauty app to use Olapic’s services for user-generated content. The incorporation of these selfies in NYX’s app allows shoppers to interact with the products in a more personal way. For example, users can customize their makeup selection by swiping left or right on the crowdsourced photos.
Walmart — Mobile Express Returns
Walmart is revolutionizing the e-commerce app world by tackling a problem faced by many third-party sellers: making the return of online-bought goods easy. A feature set to roll out in November allows people who need to return something they ordered on Walmart.com to do so by simply logging the item on the Walmart app, generating a QR code, then taking it to a brick-and-mortar location to drop it off. Mobile Express Returns will be accessible to shoppers at all 4,700 of Walmart’s US locations after the launch.
This comes as a welcome development in our culture where “time has become the new currency in retail,” as said by Daniel Eckert, Walmart’s Senior Vice President. People care about saving time as much as they do saving money. So in making both purchasing and returning items seamless across the web, mobile, and physical platforms, Walmart is moving to the cutting edge of e-commerce app trends.
ASOS — Search-by-Photo
Online fashion retailer ASOS joined the visual search trend with the new iOS update of its app. Following in the footsteps of Snap Fashion and Slyce, the ASOS app will now allow users to shop with their iPhone cameras. You simply snap a photo of a cute outfit or accessory, and the app will pull up ASOS items that resembles what you were trying to find. The update also allows users to plug screenshots or other saved photos into the search engine. The app employs artificial intelligence to identify the shapes, colors, and textures of the clothing in your photo and then matches it to existing ASOS items for sale.
The instant gratification of finding what you are looking for is something that e-commerce apps are trying to target going forward.
IKEA — Augmented Reality
The widely-publicized debut of Ikea’s AR Kit got many people interested in the possibility of more practical uses for augmented reality (not just gaming). The AR Kit allows Ikea app users to visualize how a piece of furniture would look in their home before committing to the purchase. You can see the dimensions of an item in real time, so you can make sure that the table you were eyeing won’t be too big for your dining room. While many may find it difficult to pinpoint AR’s place in e-commerce, Ikea broke the mold and we believe this trend is just getting started.
Article by: Emily Burton
Emily Burton is a member of the Marketing Team at Fueled. Fueled is a top app development firm that works with a range of startups and big brands to create compelling, successful, award-winning websites and mobile apps.